Monday, 27 January 2014

Quick Note!

I forgot to add to my previous post that you can read an interview with Grand Duchess Yelena of Russak, one of the main characters of Rebel's Daughter, over at The Writer's Window!

Character Interview: Tryss from "Moonscript" by Hannah Williams!

Welcome, everyone! Today I have a very special guest on the blog: Tryss, a character from Hannah Williams' novel, Moonscript.

Before I begin, I will offer a summary of the book:

The Secret Was Safe With Him…But Only If He Was Saved First

Long ago, the elven king hid away his most precious book, the Moonscript, for only it held the secrets of the unreachable Higher World. Evil has long sought this knowledge…and now the heir to the Moonscript has vanished…

Such stories should have nothing to do with Tellie.

Young Tellie is a simple orphan girl with one desire in her heart—to find a family who loves her. But when dark strangers visit her inn, she discovers a mysterious treasure and is pulled into the outside world.

Her dreams of family and home are forced aside as Tellie is plunged into an adventure beyond her imagination. If she is to escape, she must rescue a fellow prisoner, the only person left alive who can keep the Moonscript a secret.

But which will be harder—rescuing him from dungeons….or from himself?



*Bows* Welcome to The Other World, Tryss. I hope your journey was smooth. To begin, would you please offer readers a glimpse into the world of the chema?

Thank you so much, Rebeka. *Bows* Yes, my journey was surprisingly easy. I do not understand this world in the glowing window at all, but it is very beautiful. Cimie! To be honest, my tribe of chemas aren’t the perfect representation of our kind. Indeed, we are a small group that left our cold country many years ago and made a new life and culture in the humid jungle. And though our elegant ancestors would no doubt consider us crude and wild, I love my home. We make our living off of the forest: our food, our houses, our clothing.

I should explain the most unique element of my kind. We can blend in with our surroundings. It startles any strangers, but it is a very normal part of life to me. Passing through the forest unseen is useful if you are hunting or hunted. It is a dangerous, wild jungle, but we make the best of it. We have even turned hot springs into baths. And we’ve created nests for the milthi moths that provide us milk and silk for clothes.

A little bird told me that you have been assigned to assist Errance and his companions on their perilous quest. Please tell us, who are your fellow travellers, and how do you get along with them? Are there any that are particularly difficult?

Cimie, I hope this isn’t common knowledge! Our secrecy is important. I was sent to help under the title of guide, even though I knew precious little of the outside world. Really, I was there to keep care of the children, Tellie and Kelm. They are both fourteen and capable of taking of themselves under normal circumstances, but the journey is so long and rugged, I do not think they would have lasted long. I am the eldest of seven children, so I’m well suited to taking care of others. Both Tellie and Kelm are sweet and charming; they remind me of my siblings.

But Errance…well…at first, I was very intrigued by him and his courage. But the first night of our travels, I discovered he deeply resented me and even seemed to be angry at me, though I have no idea what I did to deserve his contempt. So I’m reminded that even though he’s easy to sympathize for, he is very dangerous and I should keep my distance. If only I could convince Tellie and Kelm to be more cautious around him…

What exactly is the Moonscript—or are you allowed to tell us?

I’ve heard only the faintest of rumors, but only since this Errance arrived. My grandfather was…is…greatly filled with knowledge, and he is aware of the history of the elves. I believe the Moonscript is a book of secrets, but other than that, such as where it came from, who it belongs to, and who wrote it, I do not know. And perhaps that is a good thing if evil is so determined to claim it.

Your world is vast—are you a frequent traveller? If so, of all the places you have seen which is your favourite? And why? And is there anywhere you haven’t been but dream of seeing?

No, not at all. Before traveling with Errance and the children, I’d never gone further than the villages in the hills around the jungle. We traded with them, but I’d never reached a city. The nearest is Oolum, but I had no desire to go there. However, chemas are masters of blending in, so perhaps the best course for our journey will take us straight through the city…

I’ve seen the sea from the tallest trees. It is vast, silver, beautiful…*sighs*

You probably think it odd that I have no desire to see the home of my ancestors. I’ve been told it was in the North Mountains, built of stone and cold as ice. *eeh*

I would love to see Aselvia, the valley of elves. The legends spoken of it are beyond comprehension. And now that my jungle is no longer safe, perhaps…

What do you consider your best strength? Your worst fault?

I’m afraid they’re one in the same. I’m very protective.

One has to be completely aware of what is going on in the jungle to stay safe. Even in our village, we have to keep a sharp eye on the little ones. There are snakes, wild cats, monkeys. I’m not a warrior, but I can defend myself and others if necessary. Now that Tellie and Kelm are under my protection, I’m determined to keep them safe.

But there’s a problem. In my determination to keep them safe, I’m probably a little over-bearing. And suspicious of everything that moves. And wary of anyone who seems dangerous. This is awkward, considering I’m trying to keep them safe from the very person they seem to completely love and trust. I just hope Errance realizes how much they look up to him.

Can you teach us a bit of the chema language?

You might have noticed me saying a strange word as an exclamation. Cimie is the name of an ancient city of the Northern Chemas. I guess I say it because my late grandmother used to swear by it all the time. I think it actually means Queen. Strange how it was turned into an exclamation.

In the North, the chema language is said to sound like falling ice. I prefer to think of it like hummingbird chatter. Here is a sample.

Chee. Yeii chiree eim KelTreese. (spoken very rapidly)

This translates something as, “Hello. Thank you for inviting me to your world.” Treese means world, and the Kel attached to it is possessive, causing it to be your world.

What is your favourite food? Your favourite thing to wear?

Though my people may be secluded, we’re not uncivilized. The elders of our tribe have passed on the skills of the North Chemas to our new generation, and we weave our clothes on looms and can create extravagant food with what we have.

Nearly everything we eat and wear is made with what we harvest from our Milthi moths nests. These large and docile moths excrete a liquid, much like the bees do your honey, which we refer to as “milk” and use as cream, cheese, and other things.

The fiber they use to spin their cocoons we use to spin cloth, like your silk. The chemas can persuade the fiber or fur of camouflage creatures to blend in with ourselves so that we can truly go invisible (in the North, the chemas spin cloth from the long fur of a camouflage cat). Things we are holding very tightly might be persuaded to stay concealed for a time, but if we lose hold or break concentration they’ll reappear.

What is your favourite type of weapon?

I’m not very fond of weapons. This may sound strange at first, but I’m most fond of poison darts, because we use them to kill an animal gently without them having almost any distress aside from the tiny sting at first. But that requires getting very close while invisible. So bows and arrows are common. As are spears. I’m a fair shot at archery. But I hope I never have to use it in combat.

Thank you for being here, Tryss! Blessings to you on your journey, and may all turn out well in the end!

Thank you as well, Lady Rebeka. Ayahwei will watch over us, I am sure. If only we can just keep ahead of those pursuing us…


Hope you all enjoyed the interview! I know I for one am so excited to read this book and go on the journey with Tryss and all the rest when this story comes out!


And as a quick little end note: I hope you guys like the new look of the blog! I'd been quite unsatisfied with the blog look for some time--now I feel it is far more personal and more suited to my style. Let me know if anything in particular is an eye sore so I can change it--I want to make this blog as easy on the eyes as possible. ;)


Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Poor, Neglected People: An Apology and a Teaser

(Little note: I love the artistic flare of Jennifer Freitag's beautiful blog posts, so I am taking a cue from her and including gorgeous Pinterest pics to make you drool.)

So, I have shamefully neglected this blog for the past few months. I missed its Blogoversary, as well as interacting with all my fellow bloggers. There are a lot of reasons why I haven't been around as much, the most benign one being schoolwork. Second year of university is no joke. Others are intensely personal, and I simply ask for all of you to keep me in your prayers. And I apologize for neglecting you all so long! 

Onward to more pleasant things! I hope to get into a more regular blogging rhythm again at some point. Most of my posts will likely be on weekends, when I have time. You may see reviews of books I have to read for school more than leisure books--it's the nature of the beast.

From Pinterest
As a bit of an update, writing-wise, I have started re-outlining Rebel's Daughter, which I believe I posted a teaser for many months ago. Well, things have changed drastically for the better this time around. There is a LOT of research I will have to do for this book about, mainly, how to bring down a government in a revolution, how to meld Victorian-age London with the era of the 1920s, etc. 


From Pinterest
Yes, zeppelins. Me fellow Canadian Kenneth Oppel wrote this amazing series that stars flying machines, and ever since I read them they have claimed my heart and soul. As well, I started reading a Japanese steampunk novel over the break that had them, and my little heart nearly burst. The Legend of Korra, with its 1920s feel, has also driven my urge to incorporate them. So I guess this book will have a slight steampunk feel to it, though it is not strictly steampunk, because it's not Victorian England, it's a world derived from our world, but with magical creatures and such.

I don't think I've shared much about this story other than it's based off the Russian Revolution, but the reason why I'm so excited about this story is that my protagonist is actually the villain.

Wait, WHAT? You're probably thinking that, right?

But my mentor, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, said something that I believe is such a great way of approaching characters: every character sees themselves as the hero or heroine of their own story. My main character, Anya, believes she's doing what's right. But her methods are all wrong, and that is where the conflict lies. She is not the typical storybook female knight who saves the day, or the princess. She is the face of a historical person that has me fascinated: the revolutionary. 

Being from Canada, I don't have the same history of revolution in my past. I tend to be doubtful and pessimistic of them, and this book is an exploration of those feelings as well as the feelings of those whose beliefs differ so much from mine. When is a revolution wrong? When is it right? What happens when it all spins out of control?

I am considering doing a bit of a character meet-and-greet to both inspire myself as well as gain some of your insights. Would you guys be interested in that? You'll be able to meet some of the people strolling around inside my head. ;)

For now, I will leave you with a short summary and slight teaser:


She is many things. Rebel's child. Rising revolutionary. Firebird. Phoenix. Villain. Hero. The key to the monarchy's very destruction. But the only thing more deadly than a revolution is a traitor to its cause. Because even a Firebird can fall--and when she does, everything will burn.

This scene occurs when my two pro/an/tagonists, Anya and Ilya, are on a flying machine (eekk!), crossing the ocean from one country to return to their homeland, Russak, where under its seemingly-peaceful surface, rebellion is simmering... They are discussing the likelihood of the revolution they're planning actually succeeding.


“How do you know we can do it?” she asked. “Our fathers failed, and they were brilliant men.”

Strands of dark hair whipped across his cheeks as he reached for her hand. “Because it’s our destiny,” he said, grasping her fingers tightly. “Because we have to.”

Sliding her hand from his, she folded her arms across the railing and leaned out as far as she dared. Below, the murky midnight-blue surface of the channel rippled with streaks of pink and orange, two worlds colliding in the hands of the dawn. She thought of the creatures lurking beneath that wall—monsters that would not think before ripping her to shreds should she fall into their domain.

“There are too many things that could go wrong,” she murmured.

“And so many that could go right,” he said.

“You’re such an optimist.”

He grinned. “Perhaps, but I find myself more attracted to pessimists.”

“Aren’t you smooth. Should I be falling at your feet?”

“What about falling into my arms?” He nudged her shoulder with his, laughing as she wrinkled her nose. They both fell silent as the sun rose higher, spreading its burning blaze across the horizon. It looked like a Firebird stretching her wings, and Anya closed her eyes at the reminder of her mother and all the folktales of her homeland. The wind rustled her threadbare clothes and slapped against her face. She felt Ilya shift beside her, his weight moving from one foot to the other.

The silence between them was blissful—there was no need to speak, no need to fill the space. No need to do anything but mourn all she had lost—and prepare herself for all she would gain. As her thoughts slid away from Kat, Khotkin, and Mrs. Perkins, a rare grin stretched her lips. It was time for Russak to rise; it was time for her country—against all odds, through any pain—to become a home.


Who are these other characters--Kat, Khotkin, and Mrs Perkins? You may find out in the coming weeks...let me know if you guys would be interested in meeting the characters!

I hope you all are doing well! <3 font="">